Newsflash: White House Urges Paycheck Fairness Act

Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Attorney General Eric Holder announced recommendations to the Senate today to advance the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA), which passed in the House in January of last year. President Obama also issued a recommendation, saying:

This is not just a question of fairness for hard-working women. Paycheck discrimination hurts families who lose out on badly needed income. And with so many families depending on women’s wages, it hurts the American economy as a whole. In difficult economic times like these, we simply cannot afford this discriminatory burden.

The law would make employers have to give a very convincing reason for paying men and women different salaries for doing substantially equal work. It builds on the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to improve remedies [PDF], allow class-action claims and prohibit employer retaliation, among other things. The PFA would put gender discrimination on the same level as racial discrimination.

Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal applauded the recommendation:

The White House is making a strong commitment and adding more desperately needed resources to enforce the laws to end job and wage discrimination. For feminists who have worked for equal pay for decades, at last, we are getting traction–real momentum–from the top. And we are not going to rest until equal pay for women is a reality.

Considering that women are now half of the U.S. workforce and that their wages provide a significant source of support in two-thirds of U.S. families–yet they still earn just 77 cents for every man’s dollar–the pending legislation is long overdue.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user bigburpsx3 // CC 2.0.


  1. “yet they still earn just 77 cents for every man’s dollar”

    This is biased and meaningless without taking into account hours/education/type of work done/field and doing a proper comparison.

    “Do men on average earn as much as woman on average” is a stupid question because men and women for the most part have different interests and are not evenly divided into differently fields by gender.

    “Do men on average earn as much as women on average when both do the same work, have the same amount of experience, have the same education and work the same hours” is what should be asked.

    • Carolina Constituent says:

      That was the question, and they did answer it. The answer is no, and it's still not right, nor will it ever be,

  2. John, social scientists have cut the pie every way you can think of: specific jobs, education, race, degree earned, hours worked, etc. They all give the same answer: women are making less money doing the same work.

  3. So many men don’t get why it sucks that women are paid less… please recognize it for what it is: wealthy men are slanting the reproductive playing field towards themselves (and away from less wealthy guys) by keeping women broke. I as a man (and I am not unattractive, and actually have some money) do NOT enjoy a world full of women with (a completely understandable) tendency to be gold-diggers. Pay them the money… we’ll ALL be happier in a fairer world. In the worlds of MLK, “the time is always right to do what’s right”.


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